The 3 Essential Supplements for Men's Health

When it comes to dietary supplements, there are many options available. Vitamins, fish oil, herbs, minerals such as calcium, and more can all be taken to improve health. However, many researchers and doctors agree that there are three supplements that men should take for optimal health: magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Magnesium is essential for more than 600 enzymatic reactions in the body.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 75% of American adults do not meet the FDA's recommended daily intake. People who are most at risk for magnesium deficiency include those who eat diets rich in processed foods, have blood sugar abnormalities or diabetes, drink large amounts of alcohol, take diuretics or proton pump inhibitors, have gastrointestinal conditions, have been taking long-term antibiotics or suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Low magnesium levels can cause problems with vitamin D metabolism, weakening of bones, irregular heartbeats and irregular blood pressure, blood sugar problems, irritability and anxiety, muscle cramps and contractions, and fatigue. Vitamin D is needed to maintain proper bone integrity, adequate neuromuscular function, normal inflammatory response, muscle strength, adequate calcium absorption, healthy immune response, and normal blood pressure.

Studies have shown that adequate levels of vitamin D are linked to decreased stress fractures, decreased injuries in athletes, and decreased rates of respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to improve headache and migraine symptoms. It is estimated that 88% of the population receives lower than optimal levels of vitamin D. Although the body naturally produces vitamin D through sun exposure, the sun is often not strong enough to meet the body's needs.

There are many factors that limit the body's ability to convert sunlight to vitamin D, such as limited sun exposure during the winter months, old age, darker skin pigmentation, and the use of sunscreen and clothing that protects the skin from the sun.Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy brain function and development. Research shows probiotic supplementation supports healthy immune function, regulation of inflammation, proper brain health, and weight management. It is best to take these supplements with a meal that contains fat since fat increases the absorption of omega 3 (2). People generally need to be supplemented with 500-900 mg of omega-3 fatty acids to achieve optimal levels.

Survey results indicated that about 7.8 percent of adults (18.8 million) and 1.1 percent of children ages 4 to 17 (664,000) had taken a fish oil supplement in the previous 30 days.Calcium can be found in multivitamin pills and chewables; there are also supplements that contain only calcium or that combine it with another nutrient such as vitamin D. Some reports published in the last 10 years have advocated supplementation with up to 2000 IU of vitamin D per day. In addition supplements can also be consumed to achieve certain desired health-related goals ranging from muscle tear recovery to improving bone strength.It is important to note that supplements should be taken in specific doses that vary from individual to individual. Some cholesterol-lowering statins such as atorvastatin (brand name Lipitor) may not work as well if you take vitamin D supplements.

Similarly the weight-loss drug orlistat can reduce the amount of vitamin D your body absorbs from food and supplements according to the NIH.

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